About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Monday, June 29, 2015

B is for Bricks and Morter...or...err...Timber and Stone!

Struggling there, I know I've had F is for Forts...probably more than once...hay ho!

While I had the Marx odds and sods box down the other day, I shot a few comparison shots between the two main designs of fort in the Miniature Masterpiece range.

The - possibly? - commoner version is the lozenge or diamond shaped one, which fitted into into a smaller square box, which therefore sold for less that the larger oblong boxes. Seeing one of these mint is a real treat, and one day I will undo mine on the blog, it's in storage at the moment, but the way all the trees, accessories, knights (and sometimes Vikings), horses and the rest are stuffed into all the little gaps between the parts of the fort, stuffed into the smaller towers (which are stuffed into the larger towers) and stuffed into the castellated tower battlement 'drums' is quite extraordinary, and I'm sure that once it's been unpacked it will never go back in the box again!

The oblong version is different in a number of ways other than just the layout, elements of the model are less robust than the other design, the base is a landscaped hill-top with a mote'lette (invented word for the puddle) under the drawbridge, three of the towers have very European style 'pinnacle' roofs with soft ethylene flags, the castellated battlements are completely different designs and other subtler changes are also present.

One of the few pieces which is pretty similar is what passes for a barbican between the two gate-towers, which has a nice winding mechanism (chains missing on lozenge one) to raise and lower the drawbridge over the paddling-pool.

The Disneyland Fantasyland play-set contained a clear-plastic version of this fort, with pretty-much the whole Disneykin range and lots of useful accessories.

Close-ups of some of those changes, even the short wall section is a very different design when you study it. Whether one replaced the other or they both remained in the mould-bank is not something I've given much thought to, a study of when the sets were available in US department store Christmas/gift catalogues should answer that one if someone wants to do the 'legwork' from an armchair!

A few more shots, the towers of the lozenge design are clearly marked with the standard MARX-X mark. Some ladders; the one on the left is from the wild west sets and the log-fort, and finally playing around with the pieces and thinking of a glue-project with all the bits and pieces in the spares box!

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